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100 Best of the 21st Century?

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Entries in film critics (147)

Thursday
Apr282016

Tribeca 2016 Review Index

Tribeca Film Festival wrapped this weekend and I want to hear a huge round of applause for Manuel Betancourt and Jason Adams who filed so many reports. The festival's main narrative competiton was juried by Anne Carey, Chris Nashawaty, and the actors James Le Gros, Mya Taylor and Jennifer Westfeldt. Additional juries handled documentaries, new directors, and international narrative features.

this Persona-riff won Best Actress for Mackenzie DavisFestival Winners Reviewed
Dean (Manuel) -Best Narrative Feature
The Fixer (Nathaniel) -Best Actor Dominic Rains 
Always Shine (Jason) -Best Actress Mackenzie Davis
Women Who Kill (Jason) -Best Screenplay Ingrid Jungermann 
Contemporary Color (Jason) - Documentary Cinematography Jarred Alterman and Documentary Editing Bill Ross
Madly (Manuel) - Actress in an International Feature Radhika Apte in "Clean Shaven," a segment in Madly 

Other Films Reviewed
All We Had (Manuel)
Califórnia (Manuel)
Charro de Toluquilla (Manuel)
Detour (Jason)
Elvis & Nixon (Jason) *now in theaters*
Equals (Jason)
Everybody Knows...Elizabeth Murray (Manuel) 
Fear Inc (Jason)
High-Rise (Nathaniel)
Holidays (Jason)
Hunt for the Wilderpeople (Jason)
A Kind of Murder (Jason)
King Cobra (Jason)
The Meddler (Manuel)
Memories of a Penitent Heart (Manuel)
Mother (Nathaniel)
Obit (Jason)
Rebirth (Jason)
Special Correspondence (Jason) *now on Netflix*
Strike a Pose (Manuel) 
Wolves (Jason) 

P.S. We'll have more on Strike a Pose (2016), the documentary about Madonna's dancers from Truth or Dare (1991) that Manuel reviewed, in a couple of weeks. You know we can't pass up the opportunity to celebrate Truth or Dare's 25th anniversary in style so we'll have a "blonde ambition" theme week (May 8th-13th) with Madonna madness and other cinematic blondes to mix it up. (We're now waiting impatiently for news about a proper release for Strike a Pose

Sunday
Mar272016

Linkman v Superblog

The New Yorker pays tribute to Garry Shandling who passed away suddenly on Thursday
Salon remembers the polarizing response to David Lynch's Blue Velvet 30 years ago
Lee Pace Network they did a "posterized" of sorts on Lee Pace's filmography only with gifs - how many have you seen? I've only seen 7 but he sure is nice to look at
Washington Post fascinating story on Hollywood's latest beauty trend: expensive post-production digital retouching 
Vulture interviews RuPaul
/Film so sad but HBO's Togetherness starring Mark Duplass and Melanie Lynskey has been cancelled. 
Playbill awwww. Hairspray and Smash composer and 5 time Oscar nominee Marc Shaiman got married. Patti LuPone, Nathan Lane, Bette Midler, and Whoopi were guests! 

Meta Humans
MTV Teo remembers Batman Returns "There is only one true Batman movie, one Batmovie to rule them all." Amen.
Comics Alliance Marvel & Disney join other companies planning to boycott business with the state of Georgia if the governor doesn't veto the recently passed anti-gay law 
Vulture asks celebrities to pick Batman or Superman in a fight. Michael Shannon's, the former general Zod, answer is the greatest 
Film Freak Central amazing free associative depressive review of BvS by Walter Chaw 
Terry's Fabrics suggests you decorate your room w/ Batman or Superman accoutrements (to make sure you have nightmares about the movie lasting even longer?) 
Comics Alliance thinks Wonder Woman's MVP status in the new film is not enough to justify the treatment of the other female characters 
i09 you can explore Batman's lair using Google Street View.
YouTube LOL. Sad Affleck hearing about the Batman v Superman reviews
EW Warner Bros DC universe movies schedule through 2020 

Today's Watch
Batman v Terminator from Captain McKay. A fun little stop motion short using actual action figures. And it fits with Easter's ressurection theme, kinda, too.

ICYMI
The Oscars channel on YouTube added a ton of clips and speeches from last month's ceremony a couple of days ago 

Monday
Jan182016

London Calling. Kate wants Leo to win his Oscar

The London Film Critics Circle Awards were held last night across the Atlantic as something of a calmer arthouse alternative to the multiplex-lusting Critics Choice Awards here in the States, though they did share one winner: George Miller took Best Director for Mad Max Fury Road. We're trying not to think of him as the frontrunner here at TFE because it would be the most anomalous Best Director win of our lifetimes and too satisfying. Could it actually happen?

Judging on photos of the event, Kate Winslet was the main attraction of the night.

The Winners 

  • FILM: Mad Max: Fury Road
  • BRITISH/IRISH FILM: 45 Years
  • DIRECTOR: George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road
  • ACTRESS: Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years
  • ACTOR: Tom Courtenay, 45 Years
  • BRITISH/IRISH ACTRESS: Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn
  • SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs
  • SUPPORTING ACTOR: Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies
  • YOUNG BRITISH/IRISH PERFORMER: Maisie Williams, The Falling (supposedly this girls boarding school drama headlined by the Game of Thrones star will be released in the USA by Cinedigm)
  • BRITISH/IRISH ACTOR: Tom Hardy (for multiple roles: Legend, London Road, Mad Max: Fury Road, and The Revenant)
  • SCREENWRITER: Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer, Spotlight
  • TECHNICAL ACHIEVEMENT: Ed Lachman, for the Cinematography of Carol
  • FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: The Look of Silence (nominated for the Doc Oscar)
  • DOCUMENTARY: Amy (also nominated for the Oscar)
  • BRITISH/IRISH SHORT: Stutterer, Benjamin Cleary (it's also nominated for the Oscar)
  • BREAKTHROUGH BRITISH/IRISH FILMMAKER (The Philip French Award): John Maclean, Slow West

A Fun Titanic Takeaway
Kate Winslet, who can add the London prize to her Golden Globe this year, doesn't seem to be thinking about her own Oscar run for Steve Jobs. Perhaps she doesn't care about a second statue (and Alicia Vikander could be tough to beat -- the advantage of being a leading lady in a supporting category... *sigh*).

With the cameras shoved in her face (seriously back off reporters) Kate is just loving on Leonardo DiCaprio in The Revenant (it's clear where her Oscar vote is going). There are also props to her current co-star Michael Fassbender in Steve Jobs as well.

Friday
Jan082016

Link Linker Linkiest Linking Links 

New York Post has wise words for Netflix on their strange feet dragging for Season 2 of Jessica Jones
Slate Movie Club 2015 closes I'm assuming you read all 18 entries. They were A-MA-ZING. My favorite Movie Club by Slate ever I think. Mark Harris, Dana Stevens, Amy Nicholson, David Ehrlich, and Dan Kois outdid themselves. 
Decider great piece by Joe on the rise of the bad seen as villain in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and other blockbusters 
Decider Joe also counts down the 10 times Globes were more fun than Oscars (10? This list could go to 1000) but there's a massive typo in his post because it says "7." [sic] by the part about Elizabeth Taylor slurring "GLADIAAAAATOR"  

 

THR excerpt of a new interesting book  "Starflacker" from a longtime PR pro Dick Guttman
The Guardian Anthony Hopkins and Sir Ian McKellen remade the Oscar nominated film The Dresser (1983) for the BBC in 2015- how did I miss this news? 
The Wrap Annihilation, a female led sci-fi picture from Alex Garland (Ex Machina) may star Tessa Thompson and Gina Rodriguez
Variety 33 people will be honored at the Academy's annual Scientific and Technical Awards

Towleroad So John Boyega is just a wee bit shy of how fun he seems so far in public. He's already put the kabosh on the gay Star Wars rumor saying that it's all in Oscar Isaac's head  
The Envelope a video chat with Michael B Jordan about Creed
Vanity Fair Ryan Coogler would be just the guy to direct the Hamilton movie adaptation. Make it happen world.
Tracking Board looks at series orders from various TV distributors (we don't call them networks anymore, right, since they're are so many ways to get tv?). Netflix has a series called Gypsy. Unfortunately it's not a musical about the stripper. 
Pajiba pays tribute to Brie Larson's social media game  

 

 

Top Tens & Best Of Lists
Yes, they're still going on. Check out: John Oursler's which has Phoenix and Tangerine and The Tribe; Kyle Turner takes a more holistic 'best of' approach of with all sorts of personal notes and thus personal obsessions like Noah Baumbach, Spectre, and such; David Poland published his but without commentary of any kind. I don't even know if they're in order

Oscar Confusions
Voting has closed. I love how utterly perplexed almost every professional and amateur pundit is this year. The guilds and precursors have been all over the place. Kris Tapley tracks the events that happened while balloting was going on. This is an absolute joy if you like the unpredictable AND you don't have a particular film you can't live wihtout. Unfortunately I have two masterpieces to worry (which is more than usual!) so I'm having trouble enjoying the will they or won't they nerves.  But I'll start doing final predictions this very weekend so bear with me! If you need to think about this RIGHT NOW though check out Fisti's thoughts (he predicts that both my masterpieces will be shut out. Thanks, man. Argh). Glenn Whipp still thinks that Mad Max Fury Road will lead nominations. I've never been that bullish on it but still crossing my fingers. There's also a Gurus of Gold update. Though honestly I think some of my numbers are from the previous week because I definitely haven't been confident in Redmayne or Mara lately.Hmmm

Video of the Week
It's beautiful that the week Anne Marie began her Judy Garland series another Judy Garland spectacle made the rounds. Obsessed with this Wizard of Oz video am I. It recuts the film to be in alphabetical order by word (post credits though the credits themselves per title card are also quite a trip). I've only watched through to the "home" which took 45 minutes lol... the time flew by. But only two moments I was expecting to be favorites were "because" and "Dorothy." The other best parts aren't at all the parts you'd be expecting. I'm especially fond of "arf" and "back" and "dead" and "doing" and "frightened" and "ha". It really is mesmerizing how the video just naturally gives you these weirdly gorgeous breathing moments between its hyper edited assaults as with "Boo!" and "bye" or even "hhh" -- Judy Garland is a heavy breather, don'cha know!  Or how words that are only used once feel weirdly crystalline in this new context like "billowing" and "delicately" or how some super fast strings of words appear to be in conversation with each other like "heroes" "heroine" "herself" 

Of Oz the Wizard from Matt Bucy on Vimeo.

 

I'll stop talking now and leave you with a song, in this format...

a a And are blue come do dream dreams heard high.
I in land lullaby of Once
Over over rainbow rainbow Really skies
Somewhere Somewhere that that the the the
there's true up way you 

 

 

Monday
Jan042016

A Bigger Link

/Film the first footage from Disney's Moana
Playbill Rapper Daveed Diggs on getting his shot on Broadway's smash hit Hamilton expanding the world. (I hope to one day see this show. C'mon lottery gods!)
Gizmodo an exo suit from Edge of Tomorrow constructed from junk!
MNPP pic of the day Matthias Schoenaerts in A Bigger Splash 


Comics Alliance apparently director James Gunn says Captain America: Civil War is awesome and this has excited the internet for some reason. Next time someone OUTSIDE of Marvel's employ enthuses about one of their movies early, get back to us?
The Envelope thinks that Mad Max Fury Road and Carol will lead Oscar nominations (with 9 each). I dare not hope that this is true because that's just so much fabulousness in one Oscar year.
/Film claims that the breakout character of Star Wars is TR-8R -- this shows how well we've been following Star Wars stanning because who knew?
Cinema Blend Joss Whedon talks about why he's done with Marvel 
Reverse Shot a deeply insightful look at Star Wars: The Force Awakens - it's possible that f I've linked to this before but even so, it's a must read. 
Towleroad Matt Bomer covers Men's Fitness credits Channing Tatum for his current peak physique

Hateful Tangents
Interview talks to Demian Bichir about his first gig with Tarantino. Bichir gave the second best performance in it if you ask me because he realized in the absence of being given a real character to play, play a Real Character.
Slate the Movie Club is in session and it's hilarious and thoughtful as always. They argue over whether The Hateful Right is "ineffably evil", share the joys of Spy and Carol, and observe tricky critical duties as with Tangerine and The Danish Girl. Bonus points for the "f*** this thing" cat gif.
Cinematic Corner on her issues with the heroism of rapists and murderers in The Hateful Eight.

I'm trying to let hate for Hateful Eight go, I really am. But it's like an exorcism. It takes time and I guess I've still got some pea soup to vomit up. I've made no secret that I personally despise this movie -- but I have been reading reviews with kind of a morbid fascination because of how much people try to say it's still somehow a good movie after lining up their lengthy issues with it. I'm not the only one who has noticed this

It is not a good movie. In fact it's kind of a betrayal of Tarantino by Tarantino because it's him fucking up things he used to do better than anyone. There is zero depth to the characterizations beyond the most simplistic "What a character!" outline, the gore (such as exploding heads) adds nothing other than wank-bank material for sadists, the dialogue is severely lacking in his usual cleverness, and worst of all Tarantino displays none of his usual skill at that constant electric hum of "shit is about to go down!" that powers all of his best films. The only tension in this particular movie is wondering when the shit will finally go down so that it will end. If you think of all of his best films the tension is alive in every scene. The scenes repeatedly feel dangerous as if anything might happen. And something nearly always does. Here we basically have any of those individual scenes only they're now 3 hours long and the tension just goes out of it completely because who cares?

In short, stop justifying this work people; It's okay to think a movie is terrible when it is! Most great auteurs have a dud (or five) somewhere in their filmography. If we try to convince ourselves that every thing a single person makes is masterful, we are denying our own critical faculties and it also makes our love for their true masterpieces highly suspect.  For instance here are a five filmmakers I regularly cite when people ask me for "all time favorites": Haynes, Almodovar, Cameron, Minnelli, Hitchcock. All of them have made a film or films that were not that great or that I could not personally connect to. That does not lessen their genius for me. That just means they're human and it helps me to appreciate their masterworks more because I know the love is true and not me trying to argue myself into fandom.

Try this at home. Realize that The Hateful Eight is a shit movie and go back to loving any of his much better films. And cry with me when The Hateful Eight takes Oscar nominations from far more deserving players in ten days time.

On to Happier Thoughts...
Anne Hathaway shared a photo of herself on Instagram pregnant in a bikini!

She did this in order to kill off a paparazzi's shot at making a ton of money off of creeping on her at the beach. Smart girl. We don't follow celebrity pregnancies so have no idea when she's due but it looks like soon... CONGRATS TO ANNIE & HUSBAND.

List-Mania
Top Tens: Variety (Guy Lodge),  The Telegraph (Robbie Collins); Slate (Dana Stevens); Pop Culture Crazy (Kacey Bange)
Lists Lists ListsGothamist (Best Celebrity Subway Sightings); Pajiba (Seriously F*** That Guy - a retrospective of rage); Pajiba (5 Most Intriguing new Netflix Series. They don't mention Daredevil because it's about new series but season 2 kicks off in March, fwiw); Forbes releases their "30 Under 30" List which includes both of The Force Awakens new stars, natch, as well as all three Straight Outta Compton leads. 

First Oscar Commercial of the New Year
Chris Rock kinda sorta prophesies those annual nasty post-show reviews you read every year.

 

Sunday
Jan032016

National Society of Film Critics: Love for Spotlight, Carol, Creed....

The last important critics awards have been announced and in the week of Oscar nomination voting too. Though they went with many of the names that have previously mentioned at other stops, they made one particularly welcome new call in Michael B Jordan as Best Actor? But are Oscar voters still looking for suggestions? When you've got a field as potentially anemic as this year's Best Actor race where no one seems all that enthused about the very famous probabilities, dig a little deeper. It can only help! The NSFC, formed in 1966 and the third most important US critics group outside of NYFCC and LAFCA (yes some members overlap since "National" includes multiple cities) spread the wealth. Only Spotlight and Carol took more than one prize. 

The winners and runners up are after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Dec302015

3 Hateful Links. 16 Nicer Ones.

As you may have heard The Hateful Eight expanded a smidge early today into nearly 2000 theaters after the success of its roadshow weekend. So here are 8 links about the movie because we're feeling masochistic...

Variety The Hateful Eight is leading current movies in spending the most for TV ads
Deadline an interview with Hateful Eight's costume designer Courtney Hoffman. (Everyone knows I hate the movie but I actually liked her work in it a lot!)
Awards Daily Sasha struggles to suss out what Tarantino is doing with Daisy (Jennifer Jason Leigh) in The Hateful Eight and tries to make sense of the many journalist opinions on whether its an inherently "misogynist" work. I'd love to defend Tarantino on this front personally but I have to face facts. He hasn't written a good female character since Inglorious Basterds. He's lost that particular skill. But I don't think he's misogynist so much as betraying his ultimate misanthropy with his ugliest most masturbatory movie.

Escape From Minnie's Haberdashery (for more hospital climes)
Gothamist Russell Crowe throwing tantrums again -- this time about hoverboards 
Guardian I'm eager to hear what our resident Australian Glenn thinks of their choices for best Aussie films of the year 
Gawker "the year in Gay"
Empire first look at Michael Fassbender in Assassin's Creed
Vanity Fair picks the best new TV characters of the year from series including Daredevil, Empire, UNReal, Fresh Off the Boat and more
Antagony & Ecstasy Tim's razor sharp review of 45 Years is a must-read but then so is his...
Antagony & Ecstasy ...review of Carol. Basically he continues to be one of the web's most underappreciated frequently inspired film critics.

Meanwhile on Jakku...
Variety Carrie Fisher on her body shamers 
imgur "how BB-8 works"
NPR Nigerians are getting excited about Star Wars... in large part thanks to John Boyega 
i09 going to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens a second time? i09 has a list of 23 things to watch out for
LA Times talks to the designers of Mad Max, Star Wars, and Mockingjay sequels on their dives into genre work
LA Times and here's a dissenting voice on the cultural phenomenon if you're not feeling the love 
Reverse Shot has an amazingly insightful lengthy review of The Force Awakens that grapples with the film only speaking its own Star Wars language and impatiently exploiting old adventures to venture out on new ones.  

Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe are "Nice Guys" - Movies are make believe! 

2016?
We're so not ready to go there. It's not really our practice at TFE to look ahead to the following year before the Oscars wrap (the true end to the film year) but I have bookmarked this article "61 Original Movie We're Dying to See in 2016" because it's cute on the rare occasion that people realize that non-sequels exist. The Guardian has no such anti-sequel slant in their "75 films we're excited about" and they go full in for any movie that drives traffic so say hello to the superhero films even the ones that are daring us to agonize over how bad they might be like the scowl-a-thon of Batman v Superman.